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“Digital publishing could well reshape for the better”: How COVID-19 is accelerating the transition to alternative revenue models

What's New in Publishing 28 May 2020 07:10

Increase in digital subscriptions and decline in ad revenues—trends seen prominently in the current crisis—were actually already underway, indicating a deeper and likely, permanent transformation of the publishing business. 

COVID-19 appears to have accelerated them. This is the key insight from the latest Digital Publishers Revenue Index (DPRI), a quarterly report on UK publishing from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and Deloitte.

“The fastest rise for six quarters”

Revenue from subscriptions and sponsorship rose by 24% and 10% respectively in Q4 2019, compared to Q4 2018, according to the report. 

“In the final quarter of 2019, which included a general election, we saw a remarkable 24% increase in digital subscriptions; the fastest rise for six quarters,” says Dan Ison, Lead Partner for Telecommunications, Media and Entertainment at Deloitte. 

The ‘subscriptions spike’ underscores UK society’s reliance on the digital publishing industry as a key source of information and entertainment.

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Association of Online PublishersDeloitteDan Ison
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